Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Thursday, January 12, 2006

A question of integrity looms over book on drug addiction

Fact or fiction? James Frey's drug memoir

I hate to say it, but is it really that surprising in today's society that supposed facts get embellished or melodramatised for a better read? I'm not saying it's right, just not surprising, especially given the background of the author. Integrity is not necessarily associated with drug addiction and criminal behaviour, after all. While I'm sure that James Frey kept to the writer's mantra of 'writing what you know', I'm not sure it should really be classified as non-fiction given the supposed embellishments. On the other hand, do they serve to negate his experiences as an addict and his recovery? Not really. But it certainly casts a certain amount of doubt about the book, and so readers should (as always), read critically with a pound of salt at hand.

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